NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20150021463: Solid Rocket Motor Combustion Instability Modeling in COMSOL Multiphysics
Publication date 2015-10-07
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), SOLID PROPELLANT ROCKET ENGINES, COMBUSTION STABILITY, BURNING RATE, ENERGY TRANSFER, STEADY FLOW, FLOW DISTRIBUTION, EIGENVALUES, COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS, MACH NUMBER, BOUNDARY CONDITIONS, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, WAVE EQUATIONS, FINITE ELEMENT METHOD, TIME DEPENDENCE, Fischbach, Sean R.,
Combustion instability modeling of Solid Rocket Motors (SRM) remains a topic of active research. Many rockets display violent fluctuations in pressure, velocity, and temperature originating from the complex interactions between the combustion process, acoustics, and steady-state gas dynamics. Recent advances in defining the energy transport of disturbances within steady flow-fields have been applied by combustion stability modelers to improve the analysis framework [1, 2, 3]. Employing this more accurate global energy balance requires a higher fidelity model of the SRM flow-field and acoustic mode shapes. The current industry standard analysis tool utilizes a one dimensional analysis of the time dependent fluid dynamics along with a quasi-three dimensional propellant grain regression model to determine the SRM ballistics. The code then couples with another application that calculates the eigenvalues of the one dimensional homogenous wave equation. The mean flow parameters and acoustic normal modes are coupled to evaluate the stability theory developed and popularized by Culick [4, 5]. The assumption of a linear, non-dissipative wave in a quiescent fluid remains valid while acoustic amplitudes are small and local gas velocities stay below Mach 0.2. The current study employs the COMSOL multiphysics finite element framework to model the steady flow-field parameters and acoustic normal modes of a generic SRM. The study requires one way coupling of the CFD High Mach Number Flow (HMNF) and mathematics module. The HMNF module evaluates the gas flow inside of a SRM using St. Robert's law to model the solid propellant burn rate, no slip boundary conditions, and the hybrid outflow condition. Results from the HMNF model are verified by comparing the pertinent ballistics parameters with the industry standard code outputs (i.e. pressure drop, thrust, ect.). These results are then used by the coefficient form of the mathematics module to determine the complex eigenvalues of the Acoustic Velocity Potential Equation (AVPE). The mathematics model is truncated at the nozzle sonic line, where a zero flux boundary condition is self-satisfying. The remaining boundaries are modeled with a zero flux boundary condition, assuming zero acoustic absorption on all surfaces. The results of the steady-state CFD and AVPE analyses are used to calculate the linear acoustic growth rate as is defined by Flandro and Jacob [2, 3]. In order to verify the process implemented within COMSOL we first employ the Culick theory and compare the results with the industry standard. After the process is verified, the Flandro/Jacob energy balance theory is employed and results displayed.
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